Blood Month (I)

The entire world was light and a bright, high-pitched ringing in my ears. Red lights. Blue lights. People in uniform mouthed questions I couldn’t hear. I could feel the dense heat of summer at my back and the cold air of November in front—

November… novem, nine. Bringing groceries into Mandy’s apartment last summer: she was on the phone when I came in, repeating a number with three nines in it. It was going to come back to me if I could get this cotton out of my head. She turned and saw me, hung up; I asked if it was her other lover, a joke. Shock, a lame excuse. I shouldn’t have let it drop, it was part of the pattern forming in front of me.

November. BlotmonaĆ° in Old English -bloodmonth. Blood. Month. I had a mental picture of the trashcan in her bathroom – a basketful of paper always a temptation to an unrepentant firebug – a box half-covered by tissues. Mandy calling me, we were late to meet Eddie Venture (who rarely traveled). I could see the box again, a pregnancy test? Yes, yes it was.

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